Killed Costco worker suffered from depression: NaFFAA

By Maricar CP Hampton

A part-time Costco worker was shot dead May 29 by sheriffs who said they could not subdue Filipino American Mylene De Leon Scott, 38, with a stun gun after she was reported to be acting strangely.

Scott was killed at a Costco Warehouse Store in Price Cascades Plaza in Loudoun County. Reports say she was handing out pizza samples to customers and had run out of pizza when she began to get upset and behave erratically. Deputies were called to the store. One officer used a stun gun, but it “did not work,” according to an NBC station in Virginia.

Five shots were later fired according to witnesses, as Scott approached the officers with “sharp items in her hands,” said the station.

The Philippine Embassy said it extends its “deepest sympathy to the family of Mylene De Leon Scott, a member of the Filipino-American Community, who was shot dead by police officers responding to a reported disturbance inside the Costco Wholesale Store in Sterling, Virginia, on Wednesday, 29 May 2013.”

“The embassy stands ready to extend its assistance to the family of Ms. Scott. We will continue to coordinate with police authorities in Loudoun County to secure more information on this case,” said a press statement from the embassy.

The statement also said it “shares the concerns expressed by Ms. Scott’s family in the Philippines and the members of the Filipino-American Community that law enforcement officials may have responded with disproportionate force. We request authorities to conduct a thorough, impartial and expeditious investigation of the incident.”

ABS-CBN is reporting that Scott was the mother of two girls, aged 8 and 12, and was divorced from her husband who serves in the U.S. military.

Club Demonstration Services, Inc., a Costco subcontractor, for whom Scott worked, released a statement attributed to its president Don Dohanyos. He said: “We are extremely saddened by the situation that occurred at the Costco warehouse in Sterling, Va., earlier today. We are treating this with the utmost sensitivity and are cooperating fully with the authorities as they gather more details on the events leading up to the shooting of our CDS associate. In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who was affected by this event.”

CDS said Scott worked part-time for the company since October 2012.

“She was a valued member of the team” and “a respected associate,” the statement said.

LATEBREAKING: The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (or NaFFAA) issued the following statement:

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the death of Ms. Scott,” said NaFFAA National Chairman Eduardo Navarra. “We extend our profound sympathy to her family and share their anguish over the untimely and tragic death of their loved one. We are keeping them in our thoughts and prayers as they grieve over this most painful loss.

“Based on reported accounts, it appears that police authorities may have over-reacted in trying to handle a situation that may not have warranted the use of excessive force. In this light, we join Philippine Ambassador Jose Cuisia in calling for “a thorough, impartial and expeditious investigation of the incident.”

“It is also with deep sorrow that we learn of Ms. Scott’s depression over her divorce and loss of custody of her two children. Research studies point out that Filipino Americans are experiencing high rates of depression, but they are not seeking treatment because of the social stigma attached to it. Instead, they try to cope by pretending that everything is fine, while suffering internally. They must have early treatment.

“There is, therefore, a compelling need to educate our community about the issue of depression and other forms of mental illness. Those who need the assistance of mental health professionals must have access to such resources. They must be able to seek help in community health facilities. Our role as community leaders is to ensure that there are no language or cultural barriers to their treatment. It takes a village to heal the wounds of those who are struggling, like Ms. Scott, to find peace, healing and comfort and be whole again before it’s too late.”

One Comment

  1. pet melliza wrote:

    How could a woman, who reports say was armed but could not even identify her weapon, deserve five fun shot bullets from at least two police officers, each of whom was physically superior, not only to her but even to ordinary Filipino male?

    The incident begs more answers.

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